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Pit stop in San Juan

Dayton, OH
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153 posts
28 reviews
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Pit stop in San Juan

An odd thing happened on our flight home and I wanted to know if anyone else had heard of such a thing. We were on US Air 1001 STT to CLT. We were ready to go and the pilot said we had to make a stop in San Juan to get more fuel. He said it was a 12 minute flight to San Juan and we would be on the ground for 20 minutes. We were on the ground for an hour, and ended up missing our connection.

Rumor has it that had something to do with weight. We had to go there to get fully fueled

Has anyone ever heard of this?

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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11. Re: Pit stop in San Juan

There are so many operational reasons why your flight had to stop in SJU to refuel that the list would be long, complicated, and down right boring to read. The most obvious reason is fuel (availability/quality) related since the available rwy length of 7000' is more than enough for an A320 at maximum takeoff weight.

Fuel availability/quality could mean there was a problem fueling the aircraft at STT, there could have been a problem with the fuel itself at STT, there could have been a problem with the amount of fuel available at STT, there could have been a contractual problem with the fuel provider at STT. I have encountered all of these during my career.

If they crew said they needed additional fuel and SJU was where they needed to get it, then there must have been a good reason. A lot of thought by the crew and dispatch is put into a decision such as this and no crew flys out of their way and makes additional stops unless it is absolutely necessary.

N737AA

Edited: 10:27 am, April 29, 2013
Virginia
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2,370 posts
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12. Re: Pit stop in San Juan

N737AA,

Thanks - a follow up question for you.

I saw too that 7000 feet of runway was adequate as you described but wondered if there were special circumstances at StT because the large hill at the end of the runway although substantially reduced during the runway expansion is still a hill that needs to be cleared. The plane can get in the air sure enough but do they calculate the rate of climb to clear the hill?

Boston
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13. Re: Pit stop in San Juan

Perhaps it also has to do with fuel cost? Is fuel cheaper in San Juan than STT?

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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14. Re: Pit stop in San Juan

Tom...There are specific takeoff minimums that must be met for STT (as there are for most any airport). Any modern jet or turbo prop aricraft is capable of meeting these requirements. It is most important to remember you must be able to meet these requirements in an engine out situation. You can check it out here...it's on the second chart under takeoff minimums RWY10...basically says you must be able to climb at a rate of 462 feet per nautical mile until you reach 1400 feet.

flightaware.com/resources/…pdf

Mike in Tulsa

Dayton, OH
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153 posts
28 reviews
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15. Re: Pit stop in San Juan

So, what made this flight to CLT have to stop and the other 2 US Air flights to CLT that day not stop?

St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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16. Re: Pit stop in San Juan

^^^ Maybe you could just contact US Air and ask them directly - and let us know in turn so we can see an end to all the speculation!

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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17. Re: Pit stop in San Juan

Agreed you would have to ask US Air directly but I think the Captain told you....right?

Mike in Tulsa

18. Re: Pit stop in San Juan

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